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Rahab – A Woman of Great Discernment

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I love reading the old stories of how God used so many vessels we would look at as unworthy to accomplish His will. And I love the stories of the women in Jesus’ lineage. Rahab was one of those women! She was clearly an intelligent woman who showed a remarkable knowledge of the recent history of Israel, and of what God was doing for the Israelites when they drew near to her country. In fact, she seemed more aware of God’s intervention for Israel than Israel was. Compare – Joshua 2:9-11 “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” to Joshua 1:2, 11, 13 “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel…Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it…Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.” She also had wisdom enough to obtain an agreement for protection from the spies, hid them, and out-smarted her own people when they came looking for them.

It took a lot of guts for Rahab to help the spies and arrange the deliverance of her entire family. Her siding with the Israelites was treason, punishable by death, not only for herself, but also for her whole family. Once she made her decision, there was no turning back.

Finally, Rahab was a woman who showed great spiritual insight. She recognized the difference between Israel’s God and the gods she and her people served. God was supreme–He did not share His rule in the heavens and the earth the way their gods did – Joshua 2:11 “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

We can see Rahab’s first confession of faith in her use of Yahweh’s name. Without any support or input from her world or Israel’s, she claimed the covenant name God gave to Moses when the Israelites first left Egypt – Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Then again, without any encouragement from others, she acted on her commitment by hiding the spies. This kind of faith was not often seen in God’s own people in the Old Testament, let alone from a Gentile harlot! It makes me think that Rahab had come to know the God of the Israelites and had a relationship with Him, even if it began out of fear for herself and her family. This is another great testimony to how valuable EACH and EVERY soul on earth is to our Lord God Jehovah! He would that NONE should perish!

This woman is a wonderful role model for making the right decisions and standing firm, even when it means going against our own peers. No wonder God wanted to honor her faith and courage by placing her in the line of our Messiah. Boaz, one of the most gentle and Godly men in the Old Testament, was her offspring. We are reminded of this in Matthew 1:5 “And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;” As well as in the Book of Ruth. God honored Rahab’s faith and courage by placing her in the lineage, not only of Israel’s great King David – Matthew 1:6 “And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;” But ALSO of Jesus, the King of Kings – Matthew 1:1 “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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Jochebed – Mother of Moses

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Moses introduces his mother to us as “a daughter of Levi” in Exodus 2:1. He was careful to identify her family heritage because until the lifetime of Amram and Jochebed, the name Levi implied violence and revenge – Genesis 34:25-31; 49:3-7 “And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?; …Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

Hebrew thinking often equaled wealth with sons and daughters, when they thought on the promise of God to Abraham – Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” Note the beginnings of this Levite mother. She “conceived, and bare a son…saw him that he was a goodly child…took for him an ark…and put the child therein.” (Exodus 2:2,3) Her actions denote a fearless and focused woman of faith. She completely trusted God with her son. Her motivation and its results are clarified by the writer to the Hebrews – Hebrews 11:23-27 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”

Jochebed fearlessly disobeyed the Pharaoh’s edict to destroy her baby as she placed him in the Nile River in the safety of the ark, under the watchful eye of Miriam, his sister – Exodus 1:22 “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”; to surround him with protection, including a watchful sister, was faith – Exodus 2:3,4 “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.”

Our Western minds have a hard time understanding the terror tactics of ancient pharaohs. Idolatrous and corrupt, they held nothing but contempt for the mysterious Yahweh of their Israelite underdogs. Hatred, hostility, and hard labor were facts of life. Yet one woman, acting as a caring and resourceful mother, soared above the evil around her. God saw her heart, heard her prayers, and intervened on her behalf. Her fame lives on through the lives of her remarkable children – Number 26:59 “And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.” God honored her steadfast purpose and faith by using one of her sons to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian servitude and by appointing her other son, Aaron, as High Priest. Her daughter, Miriam, became the leader of the Hebrew women, and Jochebed’s entire tribal family was selected by God to lead the rituals of worship for His people.

Jochebed models for today’s woman an infectious courage to fear/reverence God instead of people and a firm faith in His promises and providences. The author of the Book of Hebrews records that Moses left Egypt, “not fearing the wrath of the king” – Hebrews 11:27 “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”, and that his parents before him were “not afraid of the king’s commandment – Hebrews 11:23 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”

It is not so much important who you are but what you do to meet the challenges and responsibilities that come. Jochebed took her motherhood very seriously, nurturing her children in the Lord with conscientious devotion. Surely, she must have been the chief influence unto God in the preparation of these children for the great tasks God gave to each in leading His people out of bondage.

 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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Sarai/Sarah-Example of a Submissive Wife

Sometimes when we think of Sarai/Sarah, we tend to remember how she let her barrenness humiliate her to the point that she went outside of God’s will to give Abram/Abraham a son. Today I am thinking of how she appears in the Bible as a great example of God’s ideal for a married woman, in spite of her impatience.

There are two characteristics that mark her life: beauty and barrenness. Because of her beauty, even pagan rulers desired her, but she did not let it make her vain. It was her infertility that caused deep domestic humiliation and even disagreement in her marriage. She was treated terribly by other women in her family because they were fertile and she was not. Perhaps she could have saved herself some of that cruelty had she not given Abram her handmaid, Hagar, to mate with. But God has allowed that for His purpose, just like He does for all of us when we step outside of His will, and come to Him in repentance.

Without a doubt, Sarah had beauty, brilliance, and creativity, but one quality that plants her in our memories and sets her apart is her unique and unequaled devotion to her husband Abraham. She shared not only her husband’s challenges and heart aches, but also his dreams and blessings. Never did she waver; she stood by his side through good choices and bad decisions, adversities and blessings, in youth and in old age. She is a fine example of a woman who loved her husband unconditionally and determinedly. Many wives today seem to take every opportunity to demean or badmouth their husbands in one way or another. I find that contemptible. True, selfless love will never behave that way.

The Bible devotes more space to Sarah than any other woman. Genesis 23 is a whole chapter that talks about her death and burial. Both her husband and her son grieved deeply when she died at age 127. She was, without a doubt, a very nurturing mother to Isaac. I’m sure she thanked God each and every day for that fulfilled promise. – “And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her…And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 23:2; 24:67)

Sarah is commended in two New Testament references – Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” and 1 Peter 3:6 “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” Romans 4:19; 9:9 – “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:…For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.”

She is also used to illustrate the difference between the bonded and free – Galatians 4:21-31 “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (Ishmael), the other by a freewoman (Isaac). But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

Sarah is titled as one of “the Holy women” of old because she committed her willing cooperation to her husband. From the Biblical account, it is apparent that Sarah was strong-willed; yet she chose to submit to Abraham, an attitude which God commended. She was consistently identified as Abraham’s wife, reinforcing the fact that God viewed the pair as one flesh. Together they were asked to believe that God would give them a son.

Sarah is the only wife named in the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11:11. Her mothering experience fluctuated from emotions of skepticism, embarrassment, envy, and cruel recrimination to intense exhilaration and joy. Even though Sarah fell into sin, God faithfully kept His promise that she would be “a mother of nations.” (Genesis 17:16)

Perhaps more than any other Biblical woman, Sarah stands to teach women two supreme characteristics of Godly womanhood: humble submission to their husbands in marriage, and fervent commitment to nurturing the next generation. As I mentioned above, it seems to be “the thing” these days for women to take the leading role as head of the home and demean the husband and knock him down every chance they get. And, we see results every day in the news of children who are left to their own devices instead of being nurtured as all children have a need for.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Godly Women

 

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Manhood and Womanhood According to Scripture

These passages, from Job and Proverbs, show examples for us to live with Godly character in our manhood and womanhood.

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Job was a great example of how to be Men of Integrity:

Standing in God’s presence – Job 31:4 – “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?”

Exemplifying Integrity – Job 31:5, 6 – “If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.”

Committing to Personal Purity – Job 31:7-12 – “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.”

Reflecting Justice in all Dealings – Job 31:13-15 – “If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

Giving Generously to Others and Showing Compassion to All – Job 31:16-22 – “If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;) If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.”

Setting Godly Priorities in Life – Job 31:23-25 – “For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;”

Living out Faith in God – Job 31:26-28 – “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

Forgiving Others Without Holding a Grudge – Job 31:29, 30 – “If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.”

Opening His Home to the Needy – Job 31:31, 32 – “If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied. The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.”

Walking with the Lord – Job 31:33-37 – “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.”

Seeking to do Right – Job 31:38-40 – “If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.”

Solomon Teaches How we Women can live with Godly Character in Proverbs:

Managing her Household Well – Proverbs 31:10-12 – “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Working Willingly with her Hands – Proverbs 31:13 – “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

Serving Her Household – Proverbs 31:14, 15 – “She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

Investing Wisely – Proverbs 31:16 – “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”

Strengthening Herself Through Proper Care of her Body and Spirit – Proverbs 31:17 – “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”

Using her Gifts Consistently and Creatively – Proverbs 31:18, 19 – “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.”

Giving Generously to the Poor – Proverbs 31:20 – “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” (Notice it says, “needy” not those who choose to beg instead of work.)

Protecting her Children – Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

Dressing Herself Attractively but Modestly – Proverbs 31:22 – “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”

Representing her Husband Well – Proverbs 31:23 – “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”

Using her Time and Energies Efficiently – Proverbs 31:24 – “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”

Exhibiting a Spirit of Optimism – Proverbs 31:25 – “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

Speaking with Wisdom and Kindness – Proverbs 31:26 – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Exemplifying Faithfulness and Excellence – Proverbs 31:27-29 – “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Receiving Praise for her Work – Proverbs 31:30, 31 – “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Now, these are the best guidelines we will find anywhere for living our lives with Godly character. As I read through each of these examples for me to try to emulate as a woman, I must admit that I am definitely lacking in several areas. It was good for me to be reminded to try to do my best to be a better example for my Lord and not be an embarrassment to Him. I am encouraged that God Almighty would choose me to be a shining light for Him.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2017 in Godly Women

 

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Do we treat our husbands as the God-given gifts that they are?

I find it totally disgusting how this world and today’s media demean the heads of our homes. Our husbands are a gift from the Lord, if we have first sought God’s will as to whether this man is God’s chosen mate for us. Many of us have had to learn the hard way the heartache and irreparable damage to all concerned when we seek our own will and jump into a relationship based on lust or “love at first sight.

When God brings the man He has chosen for our life-mate into our lives, that man truly is a gift from God, and he ought to be treated as such. To us women, a man is the most complicated of all God’s creatures to understand. (I know we hear men joke all the time about how they will never understand us women, and that is true also. 😉 )

He has high expectations for himself – when he fails to attain his dreams, he experiences emotions that he finds hard to handle. At times he may be afraid of rejection – comparison to another man, the inability to satisfy his wife. He may feel inadequate, insecure, frustrated, and helpless as he faces the challenges of life. During these times of vulnerability, our husbands desperately need us to understand and be his helper – “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18) He needs acceptance, appreciation, and affirmation.

A Godly husband will show respect for his wife in the way he treats her. This begins with his thought life – “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” (Proverbs 23:7) and it moves to his lifestyle – “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) then to his communication – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) Because women are great responders, we generally will respond to efforts or lack of efforts from our husbands. This give-and-take is part of the mystery in human sexuality.

Just as God extended acceptance to all people in that He did not wait until we were worthy of His love – He simply loved us first – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) A loving wife will want to treat her husband as if he is already the person God desires him to be. That is the greatest encouragement we can give him.

  • A husband needs to have and deserves to have the respect of his wife – “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
  • A husband needs and deserves our appreciation. This means that we should recognize his worth, and hold him in high regard and respect. Notice how his face lights up and his chest bursts forth when we express how grateful we are for our life with him, his faithfulness, his hard work, and how he provides and cares for us. God has laid on my heart many times to let my Ron know how thankful I am that God brought him to be my life-mate and how he completes me. It is the truth and he needs and deserves to hear that from time to time.
  • A husband also needs affirmation. We should want to speak kind words to our husbands – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26) We enjoy assuring our husbands of our love and devotion to only him –  “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11, 12)
  • A husband needs sexual fulfillment and sensitivity on the part of his wife to this need – “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
  • A husband needs a home to which he can go for comfort and peace – “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 24:67) I can sense immediately when my husband has had a trying day at work. I try not to hit him with any challenges I may have had, but ask him how his day went. I see instant relief as he lets our a slight sigh and shares his day with me. It is not always about challenges he had. Many times he loves to share pride in how he overcame some obstacle that no one else had an answer for.
  • A husband needs to find his wife attractive and to be proud of her “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” (Proverbs 31:28, 29) He needs to share mutual fellowship and fun with her. After all, our husbands are our best friends.

We ought to consider our husbands as a precious gift from God, and treat them with sensitivity, tenderness, and love. To meet his needs requires time–listening, touching, doing kind deeds, and creativity in doing the acts of love. When we do those actions, we will also receive in kind from him – “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Godly Women

 

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Pride Cometh Before a Fall!

Yes indeed, pride comes before we fall; we see it over and over as we read through God’s Word, how so many could have continued on in God’s blessings, but because of pride, they were brought low.

I am still reading Kings and Chronicles as they are meant to go together. I find that Chronicles has a bit more detail than Kings. I guess that is why we see repeatedly in Kings, “Now the rest of the acts of King such and such which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings…”

I get so excited when I read, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD…” And there were some who continued doing right, but there were so many kings who turned to the ways of the world and God had to smite the whole country because of it.

I also notice each time I read about the Kings in the Old Testament that God always mentioned the Kings’ mothers’ names. That shows the importance God places on mothers. 🙂

Recently I read 2 Chronicles 26 about Uzziah, who was only 16 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.”

Then we read how he won wars against God’s enemies and became strong and made Jerusalem strong and built high towers. And here it begins in verse 16 that “when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore (80) priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:” Now we all know that only God’s high priests, who had been consecrated could burn incense to the LORD, for He is Holy.

Oh, but Uzziah had become so full of himself that he thought he was so great and could do that whatsoever he chose because he was the king. This happens to so many, especially when we make the world our friend. Do we not understand that to be friends with the world means we are enemies of God?

Well, just as there are always consequences to our sin against God, we see that there were consequences for Uzziah as well. Beginning in verse 19 “Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priest, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and behold he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.”

What a broken heart Uzziah’s mother must have suffered. If only he had stayed strong in God’s law (Word) and close to the LORD, he would have had many more wonderful years as king. Not only did Uzziah have to face the dire consequence of leprosy, God also had to call another to do His work in His Kingdom.

If you are running from God’s call to do His Work for His Kingdom today, because you find the things of the world more enticing, I urge you to turn back and follow God’s will. The things of this world are only fun for a season. I ask you to consider that the LORD will have to call someone else to do the work He initially called you for. How sad it will be in that day when you see Him face to face and give account of why you chose the world over Him.

2 Chronicles 26

1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.
11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.
12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.
13 And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.
15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:
18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.
19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.
20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.

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Posted by on May 27, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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Women in the Early Church

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We are so blessed that God has gifted each of us special gifts to be used in His church. Here are some great examples of how Godly women used their gifts in God’s early church. As we search these Scriptures and take them to our hearts today, we can still follow their examples to be the Godly women that He needs us to be in today’s church.

Apphia – Philemon 2 Hosted believers in her home. “And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:”  It is believed that Apphia was Philemon’s wife and Archippus was Apphia’s and Philemon’s son, and a leader in the church that met in Philemon’s home. Apphia played a crucial role in carrying out the desires that Paul expressed for Onesimus, as a new believer, because as the mistress of her home, she was also the supervisor over household slaves.

Damaris – Acts 17:34 – Responded to the Gospel of Jesus. “Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

Dorcas – Acts 9:36-42 and Proverbs 31:20 – She reached out to the poor and needy. “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.”; “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

Elisabeth – Luke 1:39-56 – Served as a mentor or spiritual mother to Mary of Nazareth and undoubtedly to many others. “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.”

Lydia – Acts 16:11-15 – Supported Paul in his ministries. “Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”

Mary Magdalene – Mark 16:9, 10; 1 Peter 3:15 – Proclaimed the Gospel. “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.”; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

Mary of Nazareth – Luke 2:19; Acts 1:14 – Mary prayed. “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”; “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

Older, Mature Women in the Church – Tutus 2:3-5 – Were and are to teach younger women and new women believers about Godly character and home responsibilities. “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Phebe – Romans 16:1, 2 – Was a courier for transporting one of Paul’s letters to the church in Rome. And as we can see in verse 2, she was known as a “succourer” of many – Someone who gives help in times of need, distress or difficulty. “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.”

Priscilla – Acts 18:18, 26 – She and her husband traveled throughout the country doing evangelism and missions. They also taught the learned Apollos. – Romans 16:3-5a – They suffered for their faith, and held church in their house. “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow…And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”; “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”

Women of Wealth (yes it is God’s desire for His children to be wealthy as it is all His anyway, and He blesses us so that we may bless others) – Mark 15:40; 16:1; Luke 8:3; 23:55-24:10; Hebrews 6:10 – They supported Jesus’ work; their generosity was a blessing to the Kingdom work. “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;…And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.”; ” And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”; “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”; “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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